Posted on October 28, 2020
Each Pac-12 basketball arena has unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, ranging from its capacity to the way it’s structured and its history and tradition.
In this 12-part series, I look at what makes each facility unique, and recount some of the key moments and stats* in the Pac-12 Era. We continue in this ninth installment with Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena.
Matthew Knight Arena
Elevation: 430 feet
Overall Record: 147-17
Overall Conference Record: 68-13
Overall Nonconference Record: 79-4
The granddaddy of them all, Mathew Knight Arena is a machine.
No Pac-12 opponent has a winning record in the building since the conference expanded in 2011-12, and the Ducks are a near perfect 11-1 against the Top 25 over that time. Tellingly, Oregon has yet to lose a game in a matchup featuring two ranked teams, posting a 6-0 mark.
Dana Altman has led the program to four wins over the Top 5, including No. 2 UCLA in 2016. The legendary instant-classic game saw the Ducks down four with less than 15 seconds to go when Payton Pritchard hit a three to bring it within one, and Dillon Brooks drained the game-winning trey with no time left.
With victories over No. 3 Arizona in 2014, No. 4 Arizona in 2013, No. 5 Arizona in 2017, and six additional wins over ranked conference opponents, it’s clear that Matthew Knight Arena is the most difficult road game in the Conference of Champions.
Arizona State and Washington State have yet to emerge victorious from MKA. And Arizona, Colorado, Stanford, USC, Utah, and Washington each have just a single win.
Surprisingly, California leads the Conference with three victories, and in 2016 the Bears were just four points away from eclipsing .500.
Overall, the Ducks are 61-5 when taking the forested floor as a ranked squad.
Though the head-turning defeat to Texas Southern in 2018 won’t be forgotten, UO has solid nonconference wins over No. 20 Baylor, Houston, BYU, Iowa, Nevada, and Alabama.
The Ducks have only lost four nonconference games in the arena: Virginia in 2011, Mississippi in 2014, Boise State in 2017, and the Texas Southern loss in 2018.
The home court advantage may dissuade the traditionally ranked East Coast programs from traveling out West to face the Ducks, as Oregon has played just a single game against a Top 25 nonconference opponent since 2011-12.
But with five wins over teams ranked in the Top 10, Matthew Knight Arena has arguably established itself as one of the most difficult places to play in the entire country. The Ducks are currently on a 22-game winning streak in Eugene, and rattled off 46 in a row from 2015-2017.
Assuming some blue-bloods, and perhaps Gonzaga or San Diego State, are brave enough to schedule the Ducks in Eugene, the arena’s national reputation should be amplified in the 2020s.
Records vs. Top 25 and When Ranked
Record v. Top 25: 11-1
Record v. Top 25 When Unranked: 5-1
Record v. Top 25 When Ranked: 6-0
Record When Ranked: 61-5
Highest Home-Game Rankings
Highest Ranking for Home Game: No. 4 (2016)
Victory over Highest Ranked Team: No. 2 UCLA (2016)
Highest Ranked Opponent: No. 2 UCLA (2016)
Noteworthy Conference Wins: No. 2 UCLA (2016); No. 3 Arizona (2014); No. 4 Arizona (2013); No. 5 Arizona (2017); No. 9 Utah (2015); No. 14 Arizona (2018); No. 16 Colorado (2020); No. 21 USC (2016); No. 22 USC (2016); No. 24 Arizona (2020)
Noteworthy Nonconference Wins: No. 20 Baylor (2015); Iowa (2012); Nevada (2012); BYU (2013); Alabama (2016); Houston (2019)
Texas Southern by 5 (2018)
Record of Pac-12 Teams at Matthew Knight Arena
Oregon State: 2-7
Arizona State: 0-7
Washington State: 0-7
*Stats courtesy of sports-reference.com
WSU’s Beasley Coliseum
Utah’s John M. Huntsman Center
Colorado’s CU Events Center
Arizona States’s Desert financial Center
Arizona’s McKale Center
UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion
Stanford’s Maples Pavilion
Oregon State’s Gill Coliseum
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